No birth control pills for minors

david pari

Dr David Parirenyatwa

Paidamoyo Chipunza Herald Reporter—
GOVERNMENT has no policy that advocates provision of contraceptives to girls as young as 10 years of age and does not intend to have such a policy in the near future, Health and Child Care Minister Dr David Parirenyatwa has said. Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday to clarify the distribution of contraceptives, Dr Parirenyatwa — who was flanked by his deputy, Dr Paul Chimedza, and permanent secretary Dr Gerald Gwinji — said Government was guided by social, cultural and medical factors in the formulation of all policies.

“We as a Ministry of Health and Child Care, we do not have a policy that advocates giving contraceptives to under-age children,” he said.

“We are very clear about this. Clear because we are guided not only by our policy, but by the socio-cultural and medical prerogatives in our country,” he said.

Dr Parirenyatwa said the fact that the age of majority was 18 years and that of marriage was 16 years meant that anyone below these age groups was considered under age.

He said instead, his ministry, in conjunction with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, advocates gradual sex education for children.

“What we pride ourselves in is that we give education to those children and we are in the forefront of fighting HIV and Aids.
“If we were to advocate sex for the 10-year-olds, you can imagine how uncontrollable the pandemic would become.”

He said latest statistics showed that the age of sexual activity was 15 years 9 months for girls, although there were cases of younger girls becoming sexually abused.

He said sexual education was targeted at a particular age and was not given to all children in school.
“You do not just teach 10-year-olds what they are not supposed to know, there is a syllabus that is strict on that sort of chronology.”
Dr Parirenyatwa acknowledged that there were high unintended or unwanted pregnancies, particularly between the ages of 17 and 24 years, and a high degree of abortions, hence the importance of talking about safe sexual methods.

In relation to issues of sexual abuse on children as well as adults, Dr Parirenyatwa proposed setting up a multi-sectoral task force to look into all issues of concern and proffer solutions.

Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri said giving contraceptives to children as young as 10 years was against Zimbabwean norms and values.

She said if the health ministry would have done this, it meant giving freedom to the young girls to have sexual intercourse.
“If contraceptives are given to girls as young as 10 years, it means our social fabric is at stake,” said Minister Muchinguri.

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  • musoro1000

    Wake up Zimbabwe. Don’t bury your head in the sand. Child abuse, child rape is rampant. It’s ok for you men to sit in your office and dictate policies but the reality is girls as young as ten are being used by the big guys in office for their pleasure. Our culture has always been rotten to the core which is why we are still struggling with HIV/AIDS. We preach one thing but do the opposite. Minister can you show us the statistics that our culture has done us good. Why are teenage pregnancies, abortions high, if we claim to be so good. Stop lying to yourselves and get real. Immorality has become the fabric of our society and its not caused by contraceptives.

    • Chenai

      Iwe ndiwe munhu akadhakwa,,,kudhakwa chaiko…corrupting 20 kids coz of 80 misguided elements. we dont work like that. wanoda kukwirwa ngawakwirwe kana wabatawo AIDS ndizvozvo, period.

    • Mai vevanasikana

      Do you have a 10year old in your house?

  • Mimi

    What a relief Hon Minister Parirenyatwa. I certainly would not entertain my 10 year old having to be given birth control pills. Those who want their girl children to get these are free to take their girls for the pills but I certainly was going to take the government to Court. After all at the end of the day most of these laws are crafted to make it easy for sugar daddies to sleep with the girl child. Well done to the government for putting a stop to this nonsense. If my girl child does not listen to my warnings for her to abstain from sex then I would rather have her have the child as this will teach her a lesson. Mwana haaraswi.

    • tim

      i was wondering why HIV prevalance is very High in Zimbabwe now i know,its because of the Ignorance of people like Mimi and shockingly the Minister of Health.And i also wonder why the president thinks Medical doctors should run the health ministry,they dont know anything about social determinants of health-Prevention is better than cure.

  • Herod

    So are we back to ‘false reporting’ once again? President said no to corruption, can Herald tell us then who had said that the Ministry of Health would distribute contraceptives to minors in the first instance?

    Where did that person get the clearance to announce that move, if the minister in question is denying it?

  • changlong11

    Many thanks MoH&CW for dispelling fears of condom provision to minors, l want to guess that this may have been a welcome development fm MDC quarters.


    the question is are minors doing it, if so intervention is needed, yes morally and culturally or religiously its bad to give them cz soon they will experiment with these contyraceptives, bt can we bury the head in the sand and pretend this kids are not doing it? varikuita need assistance as well, the bottom line is to carry a study involving these kids actively participating in the discusssion not tokenism, then the other serious question is vana ava varikuita nani, vega here as minors or adults are abusing these kids, we have a bigger problem than we anticipate, the issue haid emotions but constructive debates

  • Friv Jogos

    So can see that the object teenage sex should take steps to avoid the consequences and impact on health. And indeed this is a huge problem with current social reality.

  • Simba

    Contraceptives are not for pregnancy prevention only HELLO!!! They are also widely used worldwide for controlling hormonal imbalances in young girls AND preventing menstruation, which most men including myself and others on this forum and in this country have Zero idea about. This prevention of menstruation has been proven to be greatly improve the well being and health of young girls and women alike, including reducing stress and increasing productivity/attentiveness in class. After all, anemia is common in women and girls, hence any reduction in blood loss can’t be bad. A coin has 2 sides my fellow countrymen/women, this issue should be debated for its merits and de-merits and i feel the Doctor has chickened out whilst he had opened a very good topic. Kind Regards, Mr Pro-contraceptives for all menstruating girls.